January 29, 2011

Weight Loss Tips For Your Unhappy Pet

Exercising Dog Lossing WeightThese can include diabetes, arthritis, as well as various others. Thirty-three million pets were overweight in 2008. Fourty-four percent of which were man’s best friend!  Pet obesity is a serious issue and should be dealt with immediately.

Some other serious problems that obese pets can develop include: pet high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, and respiratory problems. As a pet owner, you are responsible for your pet’s safety and health.

So what are some pet weight loss tips to get your pet on track with losing weight? Well the first step is to establish a healthy diet. Instead of feeding your pet unhealthy snacks give low calorie snacks such as carrots, celery, tuna flakes or broccoli.  Adding fiber rich foods to the diet is also a great idea.

In terms of physical activity, spending at least fifteen minutes a day playing with your pet is recommended. It varies depending on the pet. Dogs, for instance, should walk around 30 to 35 minutes every day. If your dog enjoys swimming, playing in the water can also help them lose unwanted calories. Swimming is one of the best sources of physical activity for those with arthritis.

For more detailed advice as to what to feed your pet, consult with your pet’s vet. They can offer you advice on what your dog should eat and the amount you should offer to them as well. Every pet’s metabolism differs, which requires different attention, and a certain amount of calories taken in.

January 23, 2011

Holistic Pet Health

Filed under: Holistic Pet Care,Pet Health — Tags: , , — 1st Pet Naturals @ 5:10 pm

To understand what holistic pet health is one must understand the concept of holism. Holism comes from a Greek word meaning “whole” or “entire”. The holistic theory believes in the ultimate connection; a system as a whole is much more important than its’ individual components in holism. Thus in order to solve a single problem factors influencing the problem must be addressed as well. For example, if a person suffers from the common cold more often than usual, the holistic approach would include the examination of the individuals’ emotional and physical characteristics, mental state, and lifestyle. Holistic treatment in health involves a modern diagnosis of the ailment partnered with alternate health remedies (i.e. breathing techniques, exercise, relaxation techniques, and changes in diet, herbal supplements, and emotional therapy).
Organic Dog Food
Holistic pet health focuses on making important changes to prevent and/or sooth health conditions. A popular trend associated with holistic pet care is the development of organic pet food. Holistic pet food is pet food that is meant to nourish all parts of the body. Holistic pet food is usually made of whole organic ingredients without the use of artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives and/or steroids. The benefits of the consumption of holistic pet food are the most pets experience a positive increase in overall health.

Holistic treatment for pets is based on two main elements: homeopathy and the use of Western and Chinese herbs. Homeopathy is a treatment in which the patient intakes a diluted solution of substances that can cause similar symptoms in large undiluted amounts. It is believed that the substances would restore an inner balance and promote healing from within rather than just treating the symptoms. Treatment involving herbs is favored over treatment involving medications since medications commonly cause side effects.

Both types of treatment are generally safe to use as long as the pet goes through treatment under professional supervision. As expected, a pet undergoing holistic treatment is also treated for any mental and/or emotional complications such as, anxiety, destructive behavior, and aggression.

January 20, 2011

Reduce Canine Anxiety

Filed under: Dog Aggression — Tags: , — 1st Pet Naturals @ 2:04 am

Symptoms of Canine Anxiety in DogsYou want to help your dog no matter what they are going through, especially if we may be to blame. Dogs can suffer from anxiety when they are put in a situation that is emotionally challenging, such as when there is more attention towards a new dog or baby. Anxiety in dogs usually occurs over the fear of being left alone, thunder storms, or boredom. Symptoms of anxiety in dogs include: excessive attachment, such as aggressive barking, and whining when they are left alone, nervousness, chewing, and digging. Smart dogs get bored easily putting them at higher risk of getting anxiety. Bored pets will scratch, chew, and destroy furniture or household items. Anxiety could be caused by a few different things but there are ways to help eliminate anxiety in your dog!

Before you leave your house, check to make sure they have food and water. Take them out for a nice long walk before you leave the house so while you are gone, they can sleep or stay calm. Give them some attention before you leave to show your love! A few minutes prior to leaving and after returning, ignore your dog. This will help the canine understand that they cannot always have your attention so separation will be less dramatic.

When they are home alone, leave on a TV or the radio for a little comfort. In addition, leaving a personal item with your scent on it, such as a t-shirt, will leave them happy to curl up with while you are away. You can also have certain toys that you give to your dog only when you are out of the house. Kong toys and hollow bones work well so the dog can play by themselves.

There are many steps to take that can help cure dog anxiety. Bonding with your dog every moment that you can is one of the biggest. Train your dog to understand that when you leave, you will return. Keep a routine so they don’t get confused. If your dog suffers anxiety attacks from thunderstorms, using a “Thundershirt”, which is a blanket for dogs, will calm them. If natural remedies do not work for your dog, there are drugs that can be taken such as: Fluxetine, Valium, or Rescue Remedy. It is best to try all natural ways of curing anxiety before using medications. Medications have side effects therefore a natural remedy would keep your dog healthy and happy.

Liver Disease in Dogs

Filed under: Pet Health — Tags: , — 1st Pet Naturals @ 12:35 am

Damaging Effects of Liver Disease in DogsWhen your dog’s liver has been infected, many of the dog’s bodily functions are affected. The liver stores glycogen, detoxifies the blood stream, stores vitamins and minerals, and cleans out the system of waste and poisons. Infection can interfere with these normal functions. Older dogs are at a higher risk of canine liver disease.

There are many reasons why your dog has developed liver disease. Causes of liver disease in dogs are:

  • Genetics
  • A poor diet
  • Ingesting poison
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • A blow to the head leading to trauma
  • Abnormality of the liver
  • Or toxic substances, (e.g. pesticides) that have been ingested

Canine Liver Disease
Anyone can tell if their dog is acting out of the ordinary. If your dog has any of these symptoms, they may be suffering from liver disease.

  • Increased water intake
  • Swollen or bloated belly
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Disinterest in everyday activities
  • Pacing or seizures

Your dog needs all the help they can get. There are many treatments for liver disease in dogs. Natural remedies for your dog is an efficient source of treatment. Remedies such as milk thistle and vitamins B and E are just a few of the many options you could provide your dog with. Also, a change in the dog’s diet will help reduce the impact of liver disease. Choosing certain fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to include in your dog’s diet will be an important way to help your dog stay as healthy as they possibly can.

January 19, 2011

Cures for Dog’s Bad Breath

Dog’s get bad breath! That is not an understatement. Your dog’s bad breath could be caused by food deposits that are stuck between the teeth. A dog’s bad breath, which is sometimes called halitosis, is mainly caused by poor ingestion. Here are a few things you can do to help cure dog’s bad breath.

  • Brushing: Just like us, dogs teeth can (and should) be brushed! Using a soft bristle brush or an actual dog brush can be used to clean your dog’s teeth. If your dog doesn’t like the brush, using a finger brush from the vet or a local pet store can help get into your dog’s mouth much easier!
  • Toothpaste: Yes, there is doggy toothpaste. Using toothpaste for your dog’s teeth can make brushing more tasteful for the dog. Toothpaste for dogs can come in many different flavors including vanilla and chicken. You can also put the toothpaste on your dogs chew toy so at least the toothpaste is getting into their mouths! If you chose to use toothpaste, be sure that it is dog toothpaste. Human toothpaste can be harmful to dogs; if swallowed, dog toothpaste is not harmful! If toothpaste does not work for your dog, use baking soda instead, but not a lot!

A change in diet: A dog’s bad breath may be caused by the food they are eating. The food may be getting stuck in their teeth or the food may just be bad. Unhealthy food can lead to bad Canine Bad Breathbreath as well as diseases such as mouth tumors, life threatening kidney diseases, or gingivitis. If your dog eats soil and plants while you aren’t looking, it is best to keep a better eye on them so they can have healthy teeth.

Mints and Mouthwash: Dog mints and mouthwash are proven to be very effective. They can prevent tarter build up and come in many flavors. There are also plaque sprays to help keep your dog’s oral hygiene top notch!

Chewing Bones and Toys: Chewing bones are good for your dog. Monitor your dog to make sure they don’t choke while chewing. Some bones can chip, or be over dry putting the dog in harm. You need to find the perfect bone with just a little meat and not a lot of little bones that they can choke on. Some bones can cause constipation. Chewing on toys will also keep your dog’s oral hygiene healthy. Having something your dog can chew on will help!

Treats: There are many treats out there that can help your dog’s oral hygiene. Paragon have showed to be very popular. Chose a treat that is right for your dog. Don’t choose a fattening treat or one they may be allergic to.

 

Your dog is your responsibility. Keeping a good eye on how their oral hygiene is can prevent many diseases. Neglecting this problem can cause it to become irreversible. If these home remedies do not work, go to your vet and they can thoroughly clean your dog’s mouth. Don’t leave your dog’s mouth a mess; how would you feel about having bad breath all day? Not well.

January 18, 2011

Healthy Organic Dog Food

Filed under: Dog Digestive System,Organic Pet Food — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 11:24 pm

You would never rely on junk food for long term survival, so why should your dog? It is a known fact that many popular brands of dog food contain chemicals which can create adverse health effects. Recently, the discovery of melamine and cyanuric acid in pet food caused controversy in the United States as these foods were not on the recall list. Cyanuric acid is used to disinfect swimming pools, whereas melamine is commonly used to manufacture plastics and dishware. The combinations of these two chemicals in commercial pet foods, have led to a number of pets dying from kidney failure. Other undesirable ingredients found in pet food include artificial colors (i.e. yellow 6; also used for fertilizers), preservatives (BHT; Butylated Hydroxytoluene, BHA; Butylated Hydroxysanisole, Ethoxyquin), lead, additives (propylene glycol), artificial flavors, fillers, wheat (causes allergies in dogs), by-products and animal fat. What is disheartening is that some of these chemicals can also be found in human food as well. It is important to be aware it is in your pet’s food (and yours too) to ensure good health.
Organic Dog Food
So now that you have ditched the unhealthy pet food, what next? Well there is a variety of healthy organic pet food available to maintain the health and safety of your pet. The consumption of organic food has many benefits for both pets and pet owners.  Organic pet food is made with natural ingredients using little or no chemicals. This means all fertilizers and animal feed used in production were organic. Furthermore, steroids and pesticides are not used for the making of 100% natural dog food. The obvious advantage of using organic pet food is that your pet will be consuming whole vegetables rather than artificial ingredients and fillers. Common ingredients used in the best organic dog food are: fresh meat, grains, fish, and vegetables. The nutritional value is much higher in organic food since only whole ingredients are used. There are reports of dogs maintaining less severe allergies when on a diet of organic food. Moreover, dogs who consume healthier pet food are found to have higher energy levels, a stronger immune system, a better weight, and an increase in overall good health. Many grocery stores do not carry organic dog food, however local pet stores may carry organic dog food alongside regular dog food.

How to Relieve Cat Stress

Filed under: Cat Anxiety — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 1:45 am

Stress is an unpleasant aspect of life humans have to deal with, and it can also affect your cats.  Individuals can face stress due to work, bills, relationship and family worries, but what kind of things are causing cat stress? Well, first and foremost, cats do not take change well.  Changes that we humans consider minor can take their toll on our cats, and cause physical and behavioral effects in your cat.  For example, you may notice that your cat avoids the litter box, scratches persistently, withdraws from people, or does not want to do anything. These changes can have major effects on your feline’s health.
cat_yawning_laying-down
So how do we avoid stress on cats? One of the most important things you can do is to introduce changes slowly to your pet.  For example, there is a new baby on the way. You want your cat to be gentle with your baby so you decide to take action before the baby’s arrival. You can introduce your baby’s future blanket to your cat so your cat becomes familiar with its smell and the texture.  This way, when the cat first encounters the baby, they will recognize the scent of the blanket, and not become tense.  It may also be useful to introduce the cat to the “baby” (a doll).  This will help the cat become familiar with how the baby may move or what the baby may be in, which will reduce the chance of your cat getting overwhelmed or becoming physical with the baby.

Moving to a new residence can also cause cat stress.  One thing you can do to help eliminate stress on your cat while moving is to move your cat last.  Move everything to your new home first, and then lastly move your cat and its belongings. Once at the new residence, place the cat with all its belongings around them, so they know they are safe and home.

Another change that can have a negative effect on the well-being of your cat is a change in schedule.  After time, your pet develops a sense of schedule: they know when they will be fed, when you will play with them, when you will want to cuddle with them.  Time or ritual changes can be very overwhelming for your cat.  So what is the best way to help make schedule change easier for your cat?  Communicating with your cat is the answer!  Tell your cat that you will be back later that day so they won’t worry and will know you’re coming back for them.  It sounds awfully silly to think cats can understand you, but cats sometimes instinctively recognize your feelings. That’s why you may encounter your cat coming to sit on your lap when you are down.

So, the most effective way to ease stress in cats is to introduce them to changes gradually.   This way you and your cat can enjoy the changes together!  If you do notice your cat is acting strangely, and suspect it has to do with stress, try to figure out what is causing your pet stress.  Focus on its source, and then deal with that.  Ask yourself, why is my pet scratching people for no reason?  Why is my cat always hiding in a dark room?  Determine what the factor was for the extreme sudden change in their behavior and go from there. Then work with your cat so they see it’s not bad. Show them love and compassion so they know things will be alright, and there is nothing to worry about.

We have discussed some of the things you can do to keep your cat from getting stressed, but are there any medical options to treat anxiety disorders in our cats and help them cope with change?  Well, the answer is yes!  However, medical options should be your last resort for treating stress in your cat.

Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.